Style
Image courtesy of Studio 189

Studio 189 Brought 'Heritage' to the Runway During NYFW

Take a look at the sustainable brand's Spring 2020 collection.

Studio 189—the sustainable fashion brand created by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, debuted their Spring 2020 collection during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

OkayAfrica was in attendance at Spring Studio this past Tuesday for the brand's runway show, which brought out 600 guests from various industries. Amongst those in attendance included Fantasia, Naturi Naughton, Quincy Brown, Opal Tometti, Young Paris, Quincy Brown, Justine Skye, Shaun Ross and many more. The show also featured musical performances "inspired by the continent of Africa" from Jojo Abot and more.


The "made in Ghana"collection, entitled "Heritage," features designs "inspired by traditional patterns, symbols and techniques interwoven into cloth that communicates our values, history and message to future generations," said the co-founders in a statement.

"For Spring we introduced new silhouettes such as a double-breasted suit for women, a ruffle tiered dress, a long flowing shirt dress, an off the shoulder caftan and a fringe wrap skirt." The design came in a range of vibrant pastels, with palm prints, reflecting the breezy atmosphere in which the line is produced. "The color palette is reflective of colors found in the American and Ghanaian flag as well as colors we see in nature," the duo added. "The indigo derives from the indigofera plant made using a traditional technique of natural indigo to woven cotton. We introduce pastel colors such as lilac and pink."

Earlier this year, Studio 189 won of the prestigious CFDA Lexus Fashion Award for their commitment to producing sustainable fashion.

Check out some of the action at their recent NYFW show below.

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189

Image courtesy of studio 189

Image courtesy of Studio 189





Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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